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How To Write A Multilingual-Ready Tutorial For Your Theme-Plugin

For a few years now we have been helping authors of plugins and themes to write toturials explaining how their products should work in a multilingual way. We discovered that documentation is an essential part of any development cycle and showing your clients how to use your theme or plugin with WPML has even more benefits.

What are the benefits of writing documentation about your theme/plugin compatibility with WPML?

The documentation will explain how to build multilingual sites with your theme/plugin, which will help your clients use your theme/plugin on multilingual sites and reduce the load on your support forums. It might also help increase your sales, as customers are more likely to purchase your product for producing a multilingual website. A link to your documentation will be added to your theme/plugin page on

Theme/Plugin Documentation suggested points (structure)

  • Introduction: A few words about the theme/plugin and its integration with WPML. You can also include a link to a WPML public test site for that theme (example: where clients can see the multilingual theme/plugin in action.
  • What you will need: Theme/Plugin version and download link, any required plugins (if applicable), WPML plugin version and necessary WPML add-ons.
  • Essential resources: Links to your documentation or any part of the WPML documentation that might be useful for the client.
  • Content: A list of the points that the documentation will include.
  • Getting started: Explain how to activate and set up the theme along with WPML and its add-ons. It might also be useful to include instructions for importing the demo content or sample data (if applicable).
  • Translate: Detailed steps on how to translate the elements of your theme or your plugin output. For themes, you might want to include the following points:
  1. Translating the home page.
  2. Translating other pages, posts, custom post types, and custom taxonomies.
  3. Translating the theme options.
  4. Translating other theme text.
  5. Translating menus.
  6. Translating third-party required plugins (e.g., if you use the Revolution Slider in your theme, you might want to refer to its documentation here).
  • Conclusion: the result that can be achieved from the integration of your theme/plugin and WPML.

You might want to refer to some points in WPML’s documentation:

Documentation examples

Multilingual Tools Plugin

The Multilingual Tools plugin can help you test the multilingual capabilities of your theme/plugin. It will automatically add language code or custom notices to translated content, allowing you to review what is working correctly and what requires modification to be translated.

With this tool, you can:

  • Automatically generate strings for translations.
  • Add language information to duplicated posts.
  • Generate a WPML configuration file (wpml-config.xml).

See our full documentation of the Multilingual Tools Plugin.